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September 2007

Entries from August 2007


Wine label today's edition...and how you might help decide (or even design!) our vineyard's first "étiquette." Click here to check out what people are saying about these labels and add your own comments. Whatever you do, please cast your vote, below! étiquette (ay-tee-ket) noun, feminine 1. label; docket; price tag 2. protocol, etiquette, formality Le BONHEUR... Read more →


Our vineyard has a new name...more in today's story. Check out "The Joy of Man's Desiring" a book by Jean Giono sobriquet (so-bree-kay) noun, masculine nickname Le hasard est un sobriquet de la Providence. Chance is a nickname for Providence. --Chamfort . When Jean-Marc asked if I had an idea for a name, I blurted out the... Read more →


Today's unrelated-to-the-story photo: Mussels conquering the western shores of France, in Brittany. vaincre (vehn-kr) verb 1. to defeat, to beat, to vanquish 2. to overcome; to conquer On ne peut vaincre sa destinée. We cannot conquer destiny. --Jean Racine . A stranger camped out in our driveway over the weekend. I had offered him the couch, but... Read more →


Herbs-n-spices for a melting pot... For those of us who studied French a few years ago, or many, but still get stuck when it comes to speaking: "Tune Up Your French" by Natalie Schorr. un creuset (kreuh-zay) noun, masculine 1. a crucible, well, hearth 2. a difficult "épreuve" or "test" (ordeal) 3. a melting pot Lorsque les... Read more →


Provencale produce waiting to "pleurer" or cry out their hearts via a swift sweat. "FRENCH in 10 minutes a day" is a fun, dynamic and engaging way to begin your love affair with French." Check it out here. dégorger (day-gor-zhay) verb to disgorge, to clear out to discharge; pour out, to surge (crowd of people) to clean,... Read more →


Enjoy life, piane-piane, as often as you can. (photo taken in Biot, France). piane-piane (peeyan-peeyan) adverb gently, softly, slowly --From the Norman dialect "pianopian". Perhaps from the Italian phrase "piano-piano". **Update: the word "plan-plan" ("laid-back"), though an adjective, may be the correct equivalent of "piano-piano"... Les maçons désoeuvrés venaient par habitude tourner chaque jour autour des chantiers.... Read more →


Freshly turned earth feels so good under the hoofs. "Tune Up Your French" by Natalie Schorr. "If you are among the many people who studied French in high school, college, or even beyond but still get stuck when it comes to actually speaking the language, this book is for you." (Publisher's note). le sol (sol) noun, masculine... Read more →


The Aosta Valley (Italian Alps). See three adorable Italian brutes (brouters?) here. brouter (broo-tay) verb 1. to graze, browse (on grass) 2. to chatter, jump, judder (brake, tool); to grab (brake) Le buffle attaché n'aime pas le buffle qui broute. The buffalo that is tied up doesn't like the buffalo that grazes. --Vietnamese Proverb . Brouter.* There's... Read more →


Gone fishing. aveugle (a-vuhgl) noun, masculine/feminine : blind man, blind woman adjective blind Le monde est aveugle. Rares sont ceux qui voient. The world is blind. Rare are those who see. --Bouddha . When your frigo* begins talking it's time for you to take a break. And so it is that this thrice-weekly letter will go on... Read more →


Our summer camp director (seated in chair, far left) sassy in the role of Dalida Suggested reading: Mots d'Heures: Gousses, Rames. "A rollicking entertainment for words lovers, Mots d'Heures: Gousses, Rames will delight readers with its Frenchified, phonetic high jinks." (text from the back cover) esprit (es-pree) noun, masculine mind; wit; spirit Il y a une dimension... Read more →